Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Live a Little...Eat Some Chocolate

Hello dear friends.  Thank you all so very much for the wonderful comments and support from the last post.  It really does mean a lot to me and I also it helps some others out as well :) So THANK YOU!

However, we need to get back to the regularly scheduled posts...FOOD!  Banana bread may be my favorite type of sweet bread to make especially PaleOMG Coffee Cake Banana Bread...omg. I decided to play around in the kitchen this morning and since I was in a chocolaty mood I added some cocoa to the mix and the Cocoa Banana Bread was born.

Cocoa Banana Bread
{Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free}

2 large bananas, peeled and mashed

2 large eggs

1/3 c. almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. coconut flour

2 Tb. cocoa powder

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

2 TB- 1/4 c. chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of choice (optional)*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, oil loaf pan and cover with parchments paper.  Combine in a medium sized bowl the mashed bananas, eggs, almond butter, and vanilla and mix together until combined.  Add in the remaining ingredients besides chocolate (if using).  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Place on counter to cool. Slice and serve!

*Chocolate is tricky here.  There are many options, if you are not worried about dairy or sugar get the normal chocolate chips or bars. There are some sugar free chocolates as well as dairy free, so it's up to you!  However, this will affect sugar content if you choose to use regular chocolate chips ;)

Nom on my friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Healthy Gain

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile now but didn't have the right words to say or how to come about and just say it! So bare with me on this but I hope to possibly help some of you out on your own issues you could possibly be having or have had in the past :)

Some of you who know me know that I've always been active and love exercising in all sorts of ways.  It began when I was young and still love it to this day.  However, it has not always been a healthy stress relief for me.

Let's take it back to the spring of my Junior year in college.  I had just completed my first 2 seasons of swimming when I had a stupid accident and broke my leg.  This ruined my career. Period.  It was a really difficult time for me physically and emotionally.  I was in a boot for over 6 weeks and it basically took over my life.  I had big plans to continue my training that summer but of course this accident did not let that happen. During that time I lost so much muscle, lost my appetite, and did not care for myself properly to help with recovery. I'd say after all of this craziness I lost 10-15 pounds? I'm not sure but I got skinny. I of course did not think too much about that issue, just that I needed to get back to where I was for the next swimming season. There was countless hours in the athletic training room, trying to gain back muscle while keeping up with my fitness the best way I could.  It seemed to take forever, but I was given the okay to get back to training.  However, once I started back I realized how much I lost in my was pathetic. Really, it was. I somehow maintained good grades through the next 2 years but my swimming was awful. I eventually ended up moving down to the mid-distance group because my fitness was not that of the distance workouts anymore.  From once competing in the 400 IM to competing in the 50 Freestyle was not how I intended to finish my career. 

During this time I had so much support from my girls team and I know they did the best they could to keep my spirits up, but I really think it got the best of me.  I seemed to live on each day just thinking about everything I had to do to succeed in my swimming. This meant staying "healthy" which I was far from that.  I really focused on my diet and made sure to eat "proportionate" meals.  However, I should have been eating A LOT more since I was still recovering from an injury, back to tough training, and in need of gaining some weight. DUH, Kayla!!!!

Well I finished my career as a swimmer on a low note, BUT it was the most awesome experience I have ever done and so blessed to meet the people I did through all of it. 

Next, was graduate school where I majored in Exercise Science!  Best decision ever! Through my first year in school I kept up with my cardio, cardio, cardio all the time and some strength.  I started to eat a vegetarian diet and thought I was doing something great for myself...I was wrong.  I did not get adequate amounts of protein & certain vitamins, which is how I became anemic during that year.  Then I trained for a half marathon, got hurt but ran it anyways.  Started to train for a marathon got hurt and couldn't do it. My hormones were going cray, cray! I was a mess...BIG wake up call!  All the while I was learning about how to take care of your body and train was all coming together...

I learned a lot through this craziness.  Then graduated and began my career as a fitness specialist.  I started to try more strength workouts, learning a lot from my fellow co-workers. My research for classes and various blogs is where I learned about an awesome type of training called CrossFit and gave it a try.  Other BEST decision ever!  I decided to give some of these workouts a try on my own and from there decided that I wanted to belong to a box.  I joined my local box and the rest is history.

Learning so much about your body movements, the functional aspect and how to treat your body so that you are able to deadlift a 70lb box when you are 70 years old was exactly what I needed.  I've gained the weight back and SO much stronger now than I ever have. Training now focuses on body movement, strength, and how I feel as opposed to the aesthetics, how great I looked in 2009, or how many calories I ate at dinner.  It makes me sad to think of where I was a few years ago and how little I knew about the body and how it works.

So I leave your with this...You have the choice to decide how you want to lead your life, live your life, and continue on with your life.  What can you do to make yourself happier?  We all have our own vices, it's up to you to change!

Therefore, I just want to say how grateful I am to all my coaches, coworkers, professors, bloggers, and friends who have helped me over the years in "finding" my healthy self.  THANK YOU! 
 I hope this helps some of you find your way or make peace with something that you have went through in the past.  It's a very common issue and many of us just need support and knowledge to get through it!